Northampton Community College is no longer featured as an HSI by HACU
Read the institution’s plan and approach to its Hispanic community.
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Up until the 2020-2021 school year, Pennsylvania used to have three Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), according to data from the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). However, a new report shows that, for the 2021-2022 academic cycle, there are only two HSIs left in the state — and 10 emerging ones.
Northampton Community College (NCC) used to be featured in HACU’s list of HSIs located in Pennsylvania — along with Lehigh Carbon Community College and Reading Area Community College, all three being two-year public institutions. Hispanic enrollment is the reason why NCC is no longer considered an HSI according to HACU.
For a college or university to become an HSI, it needs to reach 25% of Hispanic students to be able to submit the application and get the federal designation, as stated by Gina Ann Garcia — a leading scholar on the role of HSIs in the country.
The percentage of Latino students at NCC is currently 23%, while in the past school year it used to be 25.4%.
AL DÍA reached out to NCC which answered as follows to a few question regarding its situation:
Why is NCC no longer an HSI, according to HACU? HSI is a grant. The institution must apply for the grant but must be eligible — some qualifications are having full time equivalent 25% of Hispanic/Latinx students enrolled (students have to self-identify for a college to accurately account for their population) and operating expenses per student, among other things. We may have been listed as an HSI institution because we became eligible this year, but we've not received this grant — meaning we have never been an HSI proper.
Does the institution have plans to become an HSI again in the future? We did qualify to apply as an eligible HSI this year, and we are looking to apply when we have sustained eligibility for a few years — but to apply doesn't guarantee that we will receive the grant.
How is NCC serving the Latino students? DEI is in our mission statement and top priorities, and it is deeply ingrained in who we are. We have a large population of minority students in general, and it is growing. Hispanic females are the largest growing demographic at NCC. We are embracing that demographic by providing resources and outlets for this population such as a staff and faculty affiliation group (the Hispanic Caucus) dedicated to promoting Hispanic cultures and advocating for the inclusion and success of Hispanic/Latinx students and staff on campus and in our local community. The caucus sponsors two scholarships, in addition to programming events for students and the greater community (such as during Hispanic Heritage Month). NCC also has student clubs on two of our campuses:
- Hispanic American Cultural Club (HACC) on the Bethlehem Campus promotes and educates about Hispanic culture. Our club aims to embrace the diversity of our heritage and share our culture with others.
- Hispanic Organization for Latino Awareness (HOLA) Monroe Campus promotes and educates about Hispanic culture and the differences among Hispanic groups. This organization is open to all interested students.
Do you have any specific office/group/employee that deals with HSI paperwork? Institutional Advancement/Grants Office for the application process & Institutional Effectiveness will supply the data.
According to HACU’s list of HSIs for 2021-22, there are 512 HSIs in 28 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Other 400 institutions were appointed as emerging throughout the country, which have an undergraduate Hispanic student enrollment of at least 15% but less than 25%.